Bombay Duck Fish, Best 10 Information

Bombay duck fish is a species of lizardfish found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, around the western coast of Australia, and southern Japan in the northeast Pacific Ocean. The body of a Bombay duck fish is reddish-brown and covered with irregular black spots.

It has three pairs of long barbels and two pairs of fins with black marginal membranes. Its maximum length is 30 centimeters (12 inches). Bombay duck fish are often poisonous to humans and care should be taken when handling them. The species was first described by Mitchell in 1838.


How to identify Bombay duck fish?

Various harmless species of fish can be mistaken for the Bombay duck fish such as the blue-spotted grouper. Both are large, silvery, and have a dark blue or green horizontal band.

Duck Fish
Duck Fish

The blue-spotted grouper has barbels that are longer than those of the Bombay duck fish and they curve upwards instead of sideways. Bombay duck fish are much bigger than blue-spotted grouper and their barbels are also much longer.

Bombay duck fish in the USA

The Bombay duck fish is not found in the United States except for Guam where it was introduced in 1916 via the Suez Canal. They have no natural predators in Guam and it is thought that they have caused a decline in native fish and invertebrates because they were not placed on the island until long after the native species were already established. On Guam, they are known by locals as “dags”.


  • The dorsal fin has about 12-14 rays.
  • It spends its time at the bottom in threatened areas, but it is also active during the daytime when food is available.
  • It does not have a long rostrum, but the maxilla and mouth are large.
  • Although this fish is poisonous there are some edible species of fish that look exactly like this fish, such as goby or grouper (blue spotted).
  • This fish is a predator against lionfish and sea dragons, but it doesn’t seem to harm other species of fish.
  • They have been known to attack small boats, but they also generally do not attack humans unless provoked.


  • The meat of this fish is very tasty and is used in some dishes.
  • It is a popular food fish in Japan, but the meat of this fish is high in mercury.
Bombay Duck Fish
Bombay Duck Fish

This species has been used as bait for lionfish catch, due to their wide distribution in the water column and often showing up on divers’ floats. Many divers have had their fins bitten off by Bombay duck fish, as well as being bitten when exploring wrecks with this species present.

Bombay duck fish as food

This species has a large and meaty body with a fatty, oily texture and is often sold to seafood markets. It is also used in Thailand as an ingredient in curry dishes and in some countries it is considered an upscale fish.

The flesh of this fish varies between individuals. In some areas of Southeast Asia, these fish are harvested when they are still young, while they continue to grow many months after harvest. However, review the full profile of the Bombay duck fish in the following table.

Best 10 information

Other Name Bummalo, bombil, and Boomla.
Scientific Name Pseudomugil Galeatus.
Primary Location Southern Indo-pacific Oceans and in the northern Australian region.
Size About 30 cm (12 inches) in length.
Diet Bombay duck fish are primary carnivores and take in lots of proteins from live foods, which include worms, mollusks, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.
Climate Tolerance Ocean tropical water conditions and temperature.
Temperament Bombay duck fish are generally peaceful and non-aggressive but when disturbed, they become carnivorous.
Rarity Bombay duck fish are not common species but they are found in most areas of the Indo pacific ocean.
Life span Approximately 10 years or more as revealed by research.


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